Zimbabwe’s New President Mnangagwa Swears In Cabinet

HARARE Zimbabwe's new president, Emmerson Mnangagwa, has sworn in his Cabinet. He immediately called for unity as his government attends to the broken economy.

It is the first time in Zimbabwe's 37-year history the oath is not being led by Robert Mugabe.

The 75-year-old Mnangagwa answered some questions following the ceremony.

The new Cabinet is just to finish the term of the former president [Robert Mugabe] which is a period of six to seven months. It has been hectic and I believe that my team will withstand the challenge. I want them [Zimbabweans] united, we must grow our economy, he said.

Mnangagwa took power last month in a military-led coup after the 93-year-old Mugabe fired him as vice president.

The new president has not indicated if he will seek a fresh term in elections expected by middle of next year.

A few meters from the State House, street vendor Vengai Muhwahwa commented about the new Cabinet.

He said he hopes the government addresses the problem of cash shortages at banks instead of relying on plastic money, and he said it must create jobs. He said street vendors want to be chased by employers so that we get off the streets.

Next to him is another street vendor, Silas Mawera.

He said the composition of the new Cabinet is OK, and Zimbaweans are expecting it to quickly address the economy so vendors do not have to remain in the streets.

Besides attending to the economy, Zimbabwe's new president must unite his own ZANU-PF party, which was divided for years over who should succeed Mugabe.

Many party members backed Mnangagwa, but others supported Mugabe's wife Grace. The Mugabes have been granted immunity from prosecution and remain in Zimbabwe, living as private citizens.

Source: Voice of America